Tuesday, April 27, 2010

24 inches long . . .

Springtime comes and out come the fish! And OHHHHHH what fun fishing is. (for the children that is)

Along with some makeshift fishing poles, my brother brought out some actual fishing tackle and a couple of fishing poles. All the children have tried their hands at it and it seems to be a hit with all of them.

Tonight when I got home from school the older boys and Macy had just pulled out a 24 inch catfish. They are going to clean it and then eat it tomorrow for supper. I'm not sure if I will be trying it yet. It still gives me the YUKES.

Nolan's new color pencil holder design. I enjoy the natural materials used to make a creative storage place for the pencils they use when they draw. I think it might be an item that he could market on my Etsy site. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

too many styles . . .

Did I mention that I love WARM weather! I think spending 21 years in California spoiled me a bit concerning the warmth from the sun. When the sun comes out, and it is warm here, it's like a breath of fresh air . . . an unexpected Christmas present . . . the taste of pasta after a nice glass of wine . . . OK, I'll stop with the analogies. It is WONDERFUL outside here when the sun is out though. Blue skies, clear, and the feeling that the warm weather of summer is only a few moments away. . . CAN'T WAIT! And the fact that everything here is now in FULL bloom and the promise of it staying this way is real convincing. And I am glad.

A few weeks ago I commissioned a relatively new artist to create a work of art for my home. Herrick, AKA Jax Hamlin, came up with this whimsical pen/ink and colored pencil drawing that now hangs proudly in my kitchen along side the other eclectic arrangement of French, Turkish, Australian, and American art. As an artist, I like TOO many styles and periods of art to be locked into decorating within one period of art history or style. Since the "Three French Hens" have some other French art pieces to "hang" with, they fit perfectly into my groupings of three on our back kitchen wall. Here's the closeup of the piece he made, and below is the spot where the hens occupy. If you are interested in obtaining a limited edition print of this original, please visit Jax Hamlin's Chicken Art site. If you do, you and me will be "same, same." :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

pushing it up . . .

Macy is all about the blooms that are happening here on the farm. She took this picture of one of the trees that are in bloom now. It sits behind the garage and is filled with beautiful, yellow, fuzzy buds!

Since I have been on break this week, and the weather has been EXCEPTIONALLY nice, the children and I have spent most of the day outside cleaning up the debris from the property getting it ready for planting. Nolan and I hauled some junk wood into a pile so I can burn it tomorrow. (I secretly like burning things) This is the area where we are having our garden this year. I cleared the front part and parked the chicken mobile on it so the chickens can start leveling the ground and fertilizing it for me. Next week I am moving them onto this area so they will spread the ashes around. Who needs to dig when you have 23 chickens who will scratch the earth up for you in a week.

This is our large make-shift, skid composting bin for this year. These pallets where littering the property so we decided to put them to use. I often think of my city days composting and laugh thinking how "loose" I've gotten with having things be "just so."

And then there are the farm skills we are learning along the way. When we got here, on the back side if the grain barn we found one of these 16 foot high, 400-500 pound doors that was off the track and laying on the ground. Since it was winter, we couldn't do anything about it until now, and decided to try our hands at putting it back on the track. :) After repairing the track, we first started by squat lifting it, like we were at the gym, and pushing it up while we inched backwards. The sheer weight of it almost killed us! So, we propped it up for the night using a post, and today got the improvised plan of using the ladder and the gator to push it up against the wall. We hooted when it worked! We muscled it up using a lever system and was able to secure it to the track and close the doors. I love it when things work like that.